Featherdale Wildlife Park - Sydney Australia

Sydney’s Hands-On Wildlife Experience

Saltwater Crocodile

saltwater crocodile

Crocodylus porosus

facts and figures

KINGDOM

Animalia

PHYLUM

Chordata

CLASS

Reptilia

ORDER

Crocodylia

FAMILY

Crocodylidae

GENUS

Crocodylus

SPECIES

porosus

Conservation Status

Species status information sourced from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List.

Did you know?

  • Saltwater Crocodiles have been estimated to live over 100 years.

  • Although fast in water and on land, Saltwater Crocodiles cannot zigzag while running.

Saltwater Crocodile at Featherdale WIldlife Park

latest news

Ngukurr is one mighty hungry Croc this Summer.  After a Winter long fast, daily feeding has recommenced for the warmer months at 10.15am daily.  

Check out Ngukurr enjoying breakfast.

Description

Also known as the Saltie, Estuarine Crocodile and Indo-Pacific Crocodile, this species is the largest living reptile in the world. Adults measure an average of 4.5-5m in length from snout tip to tail tip, and can weigh up to 1000kgs. Saltwater Crocodiles have a large, powerful head with 40-50 sharp teeth that continuously fall out and replace. The eyes are on the top of the head and the nostrils are on top of the snout, allowing them to submerge completely underwater with just their eyes and nostrils above to seek out prey. The upperbody is dark grey to black in colour, with varying-sized ridges called ‘scutes’ which aid in camouflaging and act as a protective armour. The underbody is paler with smooth scales.


Habitat

Saltwater Crocodiles inhabit both salt- and freshwater bodies, preferring swamps and estuaries off northern Australia. Their strong swimming abilities also allow them to swim in open oceans, which enables them to swim up south-east Asia.


Diet

Saltwater Crocodiles are efficient hunters, waiting patiently and motionless at the water’s edge for prey to come for a drink, or to cross the water body. The crocodile will lunge out of the water using its powerful hind legs and tail for thrust, and grab the prey with its strong jaws. It will then drag the prey underwater and drown it. If the food is very large and strong, like a water buffalo, Saltwater Crocodiles will perform a movement known as a ‘death roll’- dragging the prey under the water and rolling over and over, inhibiting the prey’s ability to fight back. In Australia, Saltwater Crocodiles can eat almost any animal including fish, crustaceans, wallabies, sheep, cattle, turtles and water buffalo, and have been known to eat people’s pet dogs that get too close to the water’s edge. On very rare occasions, people have been attacked by Saltwater Crocodiles as we look similar to many of their other prey. When travelling in areas inhabited by Saltwater Crocodiles, ensure you do not go near the water’s edge or swimming.


Social organisation and Reproduction

Saltwater Crocodiles are solitary animals, coming together only for breeding. Males have even been known to kill females who enter their territory during the non-breeding season. When a male is ready to mate, he will find a female around his territory, and court her through a series of head and body rubs. Mating occurs in the water and once complete, the female will build a nest consisting of mud, soil and vegetation and situated away from the water’s edge. She will lay 40-60 hard-shelled eggs and incubate them for about 12 weeks. Upon hatching she will guard the hatchlings until they disperse a few weeks later.